Understanding SEO Friendly URL Syntax Practices. SEO Friendly URL SyntaxPoor URL structure is a frequent Search engine optimization issue, one that can impair rankings, keep pages out of the search engine indexes, and suck ranking authority from your other pages or perhaps the entire websites. Some website cms bake poor URL structures directly into their websites. Lax rules can be a culprit, for instance, not encoding spaces or special characters.
Meanwhile, some CMS platforms devise URLs using illegal characters which should not can be found in addresses. Others generate multiple URLs for pages, creating duplicate content. Though it may be factual that search engines like google head to great lengths to read and index including the worst URLs, awareness of URL management and optimization can provide both SEO and usability advantages.
Good URL Structure. Some time ago, Dr. Peter J. Meyers put together a cheat sheet on the anatomy of the URL. It’s a good one to maintain handy. You can easily read and understand. If I saw this address pasted in to a blog or forum, I might likely click it. It really is SEO optimized with breadcrumb style keywords. Search engine listings search for keywords in URLs; it’s a known ranking factor. This layout, going from general to specific, is perfect for enterprise SEO.
The URL includes their own anchor-text. If this type of address were pasted right into a blog or some other webpage as a link, that link would possess well-optimized anchor-text. Old style dynamic addresses are legal and acceptable, though they have drawbacks.
They are generally longer and difficult to see simply because they contain both parameter names plus values. Pairing parameter names with values adds extra words. This may dilute the SEO value based on keywords inside the URLs. This type of address could have information better transmitted away from the URL. An individual ID, session ID, sort code, print code and several other possible parameters could create duplicate content, security or any other issues.
Diagnosing URL Issues – To discover URL based issues:
Look for errors and warnings then determine whether URLs are the culprit. Audit all URLs for proper syntax. To check for errors, begin with Google and Bing webmaster tool reports. Look for duplicate content then examine the webpage addresses themselves as well as their locations. Numerous third-party SEO tools can locate SEO issues also. Canonical issues, parameters that do not change page content, loose adherence to coding standards, or any number of reasons can provide duplicate content.
I dealt with a newspaper that used unique numerical identifiers, away from parameters, to serve articles as webpages. It failed to matter what the URL contained, so long as the identifier was somewhere within the address. Unfortunately, the writing of link hooks into templates was inconsistent, leading to thousands upon thousands of duplicate content pages. We had to pour through each template, rewrite each link hook as being an SEO friendly URL, then catalog all the legacy URLs and 301-redirect these to the newest optimized addresses.
When auditing URL syntax, I like to export every webpage address into a spreadsheet or database. If you’re thinking of using Google site: queries, don’t bother as many of the issues you may look for tend not to show up in search engine results. Each character has a specific use. If they appear, determine when they are used properly, needs to be encoded, or if perhaps the URL needs reconfiguration.
Unsafe Characters – Unsafe URL Characters. Encode unsafe characters unless utilized for a certain purpose. The % symbol does not require encoding when used to encode a character. The # symbol will not require encoding when qngvsy to produce an anchor tag.
Miscellaneous Characters – Miscellaneous URL Characters. As it happens, these characters tend not to require encoding. In fact, many CMS platforms will encode these automatically. If you would like links which contain these characters to stay consistent when shared from web site to website, it’s a safe bet to encode these.
Look For The Pound Symbol, # – Search engine listings overlook the # and everything after it in a URL. If using the #, make sure the webpage appears as you would like it crawled and indexed once the # and anything that follows is taken off. When the # changes content you want indexed, you will have to look for a different URL structure. As an example,